OK global warming, this time it's personal!

I've just had an article "OK global warming, this time it's personal!" published at ABC Environment. In it, I look at connection between climate change and the Queensland floods. Here's an excerpt:

I've been blogging about climate for four years. Tapping away from my blogging dungeon in Brisbane, I've examined flooding in Pakistan, snowstorms in Europe, and sea-level rise in future decades. Then last week, flooding hit my hometown. Low-lying parts of the next suburb were evacuated. I heeded the Premier's advice to not go rubber-necking (although my inner voice tempted me with "do it for the blog"). It turns out I didn't need to step out my front door: YouTube revealed the full extent of the flooding in all nearby suburbs. As I watched disaster engulf my neighbourhood, I thought, "Okay global warming, this time it's personal!"

I confess, it was rather an emotional response. Any climate blogger worth his salt will jump down your throat if you dare to blame a particular weather event on climate change. Once I sat down and thought about it, I knew that asking, "Did climate change cause this event?" was not the right question. A more appropriate question is, "Does climate change have any effect on events like heavy rainfall?" The answer is yes.


It's written in a slightly different style to the usual Skeptical Science fare (eg - more broad, not quite for climate geeks). I hope to soon post a more detailed examination of the science of extreme precipitation here. That article will have the climate geek factor turned back to maximum. :-)

Posted by John Cook on Monday, 17 January, 2011

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